2014 Land and Water Summit solicits examples of low impact development/green infrastructure in arid environments

  • The NM Xeriscape Council and AridLID.org seek one-page summaries of successful LID/GI implementations in arid climates.  Summaries will be included in the program for the February 2014 Land & Water Summit.  Please click here to see the solicitation flyer.
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XCNM Announces New Roundtable for 2014 Land & Water Summit

The Land & Water Summit in Albuquerque on February 20-21, 2014, Drought as an Opportunity for Change is hosting a Roundtable discussion entitled  “Balance Point: Finding the Reality Between Cost, Regulation and Ideals in Green Infrastructure Design”.

The goal of the roundtable is to address issues relating to implementing green infrastructure/ Arid LID in the Middle Rio Grande from a variety of perspectives. It will be moderated by Lucy Moore, an independent mediator, and be 1 ½ hours in length early afternoon on Friday, Feb 21st. The format will include a brief welcome and review of the purpose of the discussion, followed by two minute introductions by each of the six panelist relating who they are, their professional affiliations and why they personally are participating.  Panelist will be asked to submit questions for each other in advance. Additional questions will be taken from the audience.  The Panel will consist of commercial development representatives, representatives of ARID/LID and local green infrastructure proponents with on-the-ground experience, and two regulatory agencies.

Please visit  www.xeriscapenm.com to review the entire conference agenda and for registration information.

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XCNM Announces 2014 Drought as an Opportunity for Change Conference

In 1986, green-industry professionals interested in water conservation formed the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico (XCNM), a non-profit 501(c)(3). The XCNM is a small group that focuses on education surrounding water conservation, native and arid-adapted plants, rainwater harvesting, low impact/recycled building materials, and landscaping/irrigation methods. The group has run 18 conferences under the title “The Xeriscape Conference.” Over the years, the scope of speakers and presentations has expanded far beyond traditional xeriscaping, so, the XCNM has rebranded the annual conference to better reflect its actual content and our on-going partnership with Arid Low Impact Design (Arid LID). We are proud to announce the “Land & Water Summit 2014.”

As we all know, drought has dominated our lives for several years. Demands on water use stress our limited and decreasing water resources, yet new demands are continuously being added.  This year, the XCNM will focus on Drought as an Opportunity for Change. We will strive to find both traditional and non-traditional speakers who emphasize positive change during a water crisis.

Author Cynthia Barnett has agreed to keynote the 2014 conference. An award winning journalist and author, Ms. Barnett has reported on freshwater issues from the Suwannee River to Singapore. Author of the books Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. and Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, she is now working on a human and natural history of rain. She will discuss how the Dust Bowl helped inspire the land ethic in this country, and how the Big Dry in Australia completely changed their water behavior in just one decade.

The conference will be held February 20-21, 2014 at the Sheraton Airport in Albuquerque.  Registration is now open, and there are several early bird specials, including before December 20, buy one full registration and get the second one half price. For more information and to register, visit 



Let’s use drought as an opportunity to promote creative solutions.

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EPA Releases New Report on Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure

EPA recently released a new technical report called “Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure” that helps utilities, state and other municipal agencies, and other stormwater professionals understand the  potential benefits of low impact development and green infrastructure (LID/GI) programs. The objective of the report is to highlight different evaluation methods that have been successfully applied and also to demonstrate cases where LID/GI projects and programs have been shown to be economically beneficial. Also, the intent of this document is to promote the use of LID/GI, where appropriate, to supplement grey stormwater infrastructure.

The report highlights 13 case studies of selected public entities throughout the United States that have conducted economic evaluations of their LID/GI programs. The case studies were selected to represent a variety of analysis methods in different geographic areas of the United States, for different types of municipal programs. The case studies highlight locations where LID/GI applications, in combination with grey infrastructure, were found to be economically beneficial.

Stormwater professionals can use the information and resources provided in this report when planning, implementing, and assessing their own LID/GI programs. The report provides a starting framework that both illustrates how others have evaluated the costs and benefits of their LID/GI projects and programs, and suggests methods communities may want to investigate to get  started on their own community specific analyses.

The 142-page technical report is available on EPA’s Low Impact Development website at www.epa.gov/nps/lid.


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EPA Releases New Green Infrastructure Strategy, Focuses on Making Green Infrastructure a Part of Business as Usual for Communities

EPA has launched a new strategy to expand the use of green infrastructure, with the goal of making green infrastructure a part of business as usual for local communities. The Agency’s 2013 Green Infrastructure Strategy builds on its previous 2008 and 2011 green infrastructure strategies. The new strategy maintains a focus on information exchange and community engagement, while focusing on improving federal coordination, Clean Water Act regulatory support, research and information exchange, funding and financing, and capacity building.

More information:  http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_support.cfm

Jamie Piziali
US EPA – Office of Wastewater Management
Green Infrastructure Program
202-564-1709    piziali.jamie@epa.gov

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New Guidance Manual for Arid GI-LID Available Online

HDR Engineering has published the “Eastern Washington LID Guidance Manual”.  This Manual is a collaborative product of Spokane County, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington Stormwater Center, Washington State University, and the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permittees. Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Ecology.  The manual and archived instructional videos are available at http://www.wastormwatercenter.org/ew-lid-guidance-manual.  The manual is also available for viewing and download on our Resources page.  Many thanks to Robin Kirschbaum with HDR Engineering for making this new manual available!

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Land & Water (Arid GI-LID) Summit 2014 – Feb 20-21, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM

Drought as an Opportunity For Change

(formerly Xeriscape Council of NM Water Conservation Conference)

The Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and Arid LID are partnering once a gain to bring you the Land&Water Summit 2014: Drought as an Opportunity For Change. Water is life.  Over the past several years, drought has dominated over all of our lives.  The demands on our limited and decreasing water resources are stressed yet new demands are continuously being added. This year, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and Arid LID strive to find both traditional and non-traditional speakers that generate positive change during a water crisis through storm water mitigation, water harvesting and low impact design principles.  Let’s use the drought as an opportunity to assist our attendees in promoting both creative solutions and innovations in the field.  For additional information: xeriscapenm.com/

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University of Washington offers Certificate in Green Stormwater Design

As you plan for your professional development (or that of your staff) in 2014, please be aware of the Certificate in Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design and Management from the University of Washington in Seattle.

–Online or Classroom delivery
–Begins in January 2014
–Comprised of three courses
–Designed for People who are working full-time
–Meets Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8:30pm pacific Time.


McKay Caruthers| Program Manager | UW Educational Outreach| 206.685.9682 | mcaruthers@pce.uw.edu


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Stormwater conveyance utilities lose in federal appeals court

A federal appeals court in Los Angeles ruled again that Los Angeles County is responsible for the high levels of pollution in its Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.


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EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is Now Available to the Public



EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States. Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.

It is designed to be used by anyone interested in reducing runoff from a property, including

  • ·         site developers,
  • ·         landscape architects,
  • ·         urban planners, and
  • ·         homeowners.

The Calculator accesses several national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site. The user supplies information about the site’s land cover and selects the types of low impact development (LID) controls they would like to use.  The LID controls that the user can choose are seven green infrastructure practices:

1.    Disconnection

2.    Rain harvesting

3.    Rain gardens

4.    Green roofs

5.    Street planters

6.    Infiltration basins

7.    Porous pavement

Green infrastructure promotes the natural movement of water, instead of allowing it to wash into streets and down storm drains. Green infrastructure also has the added benefit of beautifying neighborhoods and increasing property values.

The stormwater calculator (SWC), like any model, estimates an outcome based on available information such as soil type, landscape and land-use information, and historical weather. These estimates can be affected by limitations on site-specific information and uncertainties about future climate. To better inform decisions, it is recommended that the user develop a range of results with various assumptions about model inputs such as percent of impervious surface, soil type, and sizing of green infrastructure. An update to the SWC, which will include the ability to link to several future climate scenarios, will be released by the end of 2013. Climate projections indicate that heavy precipitation events are very likely to become more frequent as the climate changes. Green Infrastructure can increase the resiliency of stormwater management approaches to a changing climate, and this update will allow users to consider how runoff may vary based both on historical weather and potential future climate. Please check with local authorities about whether and how use of these tools may support local stormwater management goals and requirements.

Clean water is essential to keeping our families and the environment healthy. The Calculator helps protect and restore the environmental integrity of our waterways.

Additional Information

U.S. EPA. (2013) National Stormwater Calculator User’s Guide (PDF) (59 pp, 2.5 MB) Publication No. 600/R-13/085.

Basic Fact Sheet: The Stormwater Calculator – Identifying Green Infrastructure Solutions (PDF) (1 pg, 379 KB) .

Technical Fact Sheet: U.S. EPA. (2013) National Stormwater Calculator – A desktop tool that helps users control runoff to promote the natural movement of water (PDF) (1 pp, 1.8 MB) Publication No. 600/F-13/095.

EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator (Video) (1:21 min, EPA YouTube)

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